Stuffed Mussels with Aromatic Rice (Midye Dolma)
- Ready in: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Serves: 10
- Complexity: easy
- kcal: 197
- 30 large green lipped, cleaned & bearded
- 2 onions, fine chopped
- 30 g currants
- 30 g pine nuts
- ½ cup short grain rice
- 1 tomato, very fine chopped
- ⅓ cup flat leaf parsley, fine chopped
- ½ tsp SIDS CRAZY SALT
- ⅓ cup fresh dill, fine chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp rice bran oil
- 1 cup hot water
- salt to taste
- lemon wedges to serve
- SIDS SALT & PEPPER to taste
Place the currants in a bowl, cover with warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the rice into a sieve and rinse well under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
Make the stuffing first (you can also make the stuffing a day ahead of time). Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the onions. Sauté over medium to high heat for 5 minutes.
Stir in the pine nuts to the onions, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice, currants, chopped tomato, tomato paste, spices and season with salt to taste. Pour in the hot water (about 1 cup) and combine well. Bring to the boil then cover to simmer for 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Rice will be al denté but still have a bite to it. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Once cool, stir in the chopped dill, SIDS CRAZY SALT and parsley to the aromatic rice and combine well. Check the seasoning and add more SIDS SALT & PEPPER to taste. Set aside to cool. (You can cook this delicious aromatic rice a day ahead of time and keep in the fridge, covered. This really helps the flavours to blend in and phase your cooking time wise.)
Place the mussels in a large bowl and rinse under cold water. Scrub the shells clean. Using a blunt knife, carefully force the point of the knife into the gap at the pointy end of each mussel (if opening the shells become challenging, soaking them in warm water helps to open the shell, as it relaxes the mussels). Slice through the meat so the shell opens with half the meat attached to each half shell – once you cut through the thick, round connecting muscle at the bottom of the mussel, it will be easy to open.
Pour the juice from the mussel to a bowl. Remove the beards and any grit at the base. Spread the half shells to tear the muscle of the mussel, but leave the two halves connected. Put about 2 tsp of stuffing into the middle of each mussel (try not to overfill) and push the half shells together again.
Place the mussels on a wide heavy pan, with the tips pointing outwards towards the edge of the pan and slightly overlapping (to prevent them opening). Build a tight spiral of shells in the center of the pan. There should be one layer of mussels, so if you have mussels left over, use another pan to keep on the layering. Place a wide plate over the mussels to prevent them from opening too wide while they cook.
Mix the mussel juice with water, make it up about 1 cup water (have another 1 cup of water ready if you are using two pans). Pour this mixture to the pan. The water level should only reach to the half of the shell. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the mussels from the heat and leave to cool at room temperature. Cover and keep them in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool further and for the flavours to settle. Serve stuffed mussels with aromatic rice, (midye dolma) on a big platter with lemon wedges by the side. They are best enjoyed eating with your hands, using the top shell to scoop the mixture out of the bottom shell, with a generous squeeze of lemon over the mussel with aromatic rice.